Falling in Love with Fall Fashion, Part One: Ken Downing, Neiman Marcus

As you gear up to stock your closets with the latest fall fashions, we here at the Mixmaster thought it might be helpful to get some sartorial advice from some experts who might know a thing or two.

You'll see no matter who we asked, the consensus is that luxury is "in." From rich textures to bold hues to lush furs, this fall's fashion shrieks of drama and is a return to the fun of dressing up.

In our series devoted to the upcoming fall fashions, we'll be covering a wide range of what you'll need to know -- from clothing to beauty tips.

We started our fall fashion series off by besieging the devastatingly chic Ken Downing with some rather nitpicky questions. The senior vice president and fashion director for Neiman Marcus stores was more than happy to oblige -- with personifying capitalization to boot (pun fully intended).

If there's a fashion theme for this fall, what would it be? Ken Downing: I am obsessed with the return to polish and elegance the return to Lady like dressing, Lady Chic as I refer to the trend is the overwhelming message of the season and informs all of the most important looks of the season!

Color Blocking adds modernity to a woman's wardrobe, considered color placement of contrasting or complimentary color is super sophisticated!

Fur is everywhere and on everything and adds to the luxury message of fall 2011. Leather separates are a mandate! A leather skirt, must have a leather dress, a necessity!

What colors and patterns will we be seeing? Bordeaux is the color of the season! Think saturated shades of wine and roses! Mix Deep Reds to Bright Reds with Pretty Pinks for a color story that ruled the Fall runways.

What are some footwear trends? Outerwear trends? Accessory and jewelry trends? Fall 2011 sees the return of the PUMP! Sexy Stilettos, Kitten Heels, Chunky Heels with a '70s influence. Pumps and the Hand Held Handbag give modern sophistication to the Lady Chic trend that every women will want to embrace.

Peep Toes, Closed Toes, on a Platform or a Single Sole, the PUMP is the shoe of the moment and addresses the Lady chic message that many designers embraced. Kitten heels have been more predominant in the market than French or Louis Heels as they are often referred.

Bold Gold jewelry becomes the finishing touch to complete the glamourous chic that every women will embrace!

Who are the quintessential designers to look out for this fall? I die for Rachel Zoe! Her contemporary collection is bananas! You will adore it!

[We do.]

If you could suggest three items for a woman to buy this fall, what would they be? Fall's key pieces to build the perfect look 1. A matching coat and dress ensemble for the love of Lady Chic. 2. The Pump. 3. A structured Handheld Handbag carried like a clutch... Of course Bold Gold Jewelry won't hurt anyone's feelings!

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